Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-34150 October 16, 1971
ARTURO M. TOLENTINO, petitioner,
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and THE CHIEF ACCOUNTANT, THE AUDITOR, and THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE 1971 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, respondents,
RAUL S. MANGLAPUS, JESUS G. BARRERA, PABLO S. TRILLANA III, VICTOR DE LA SERNA, MARCELO B. FERNAN, JOSE Y. FERIA, LEONARDO SIGUION REYNA, VICTOR F. ORTEGA, and JUAN V. BORRA, Intervenors.
Arturo M. Tolentino in his own behalf.
Ramon A. Gonzales for respondents Chief Accountant and Auditor of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.
Emmanuel Pelaez, Jorge M. Juco and Tomas L. Echivarre for respondent Disbursing Officer of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.
Intervenors in their own behalf.
D E C I S I O N
Petition for prohibition principally to restrain the respondent Commission on Elections “from undertaking to hold a plebiscite on November 8, 1971,” at which the proposed constitutional amendment “reducing the voting age” in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution of the Philippines to eighteen years “shall be, submitted” for ratification by the people pursuant to Organic Resolution No. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971, and the subsequent implementing resolutions, by declaring said resolutions to be without the force and effect of law in so far as they direct the holding of such plebiscite and by also declaring the acts of the respondent Commission (COMELEC) performed and to be done by it in obedience to the aforesaid Convention resolutions to be null and void, for being violative of the Constitution of the Philippines.
As a preliminary step, since the petition named as respondent only the COMELEC, the Count required that copies thereof be served on the Solicitor General and the Constitutional Convention, through its President, for such action as they may deem proper to take. In due time, respondent COMELEC filed its answer joining issues with petitioner. To further put things in proper order, and considering that the fiscal officers of the Convention are indispensable parties in a proceeding of this nature, since the acts sought to be enjoined involve the expenditure of funds appropriated by law for the Convention, the Court also ordered that the Disbursing Officer, Chief Accountant and Auditor of the Convention be made respondents. After the petition was so amended, the first appeared thru Senator Emmanuel Pelaez and the last two thru Delegate Ramon Gonzales. All said respondents, thru counsel, resist petitioner’s action.